Steinberger EUB poll... cast your opinion...

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by kmikey, Jul 24, 2003.

  1. this is a great playing, sounding and looking bass. I'd get one.

    18 vote(s)
  2. i think they look good and sound good, but i'd never own one.

    3 vote(s)
  3. this bass is niether fish nor fowl and is therefore useless...

    2 vote(s)
  4. this bass is great for electric players crossing over to upright...

    7 vote(s)
  5. to sound like an upright, it has to also FEEL like an upright... this one doesn't, i don't recommend

    1 vote(s)
  6. this thing is just a glorified 2X4.

    1 vote(s)
  7. I recommend it, I've speicified why below.

    3 vote(s)
  8. i DON'T recommend it, I've speicified why below.

    1 vote(s)
  9. other, I've speicified below.

    4 vote(s)
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. kmikey


    Jul 17, 2003
    Austin, TX
    thinking about getting a steinberger EUB.

    I've been doing some research and found so far that this bass is great for "forward thinking" bassists, but NOT a good choice for traditionalists.

    please vote. thanks. (you can make multiple votes in the poll, you don't just have to pick "one.")
  2. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Suburban Chicago, IL
    Are you looking for input from DB guys or us plankspankers? This may do better over on the DB side - not much EUB discussion over here.
  3. Gard

    Gard Commercial User

    Mar 31, 2000
    Greensboro, NC, USA
    General Manager, Roscoe Guitars
    Tried to vote, wouldn't let me...don't matter! :p

    Here's my take (disclaimer: I sell these, AND I'm on the NS Design Artist webpage, take that into consideration):

    It is NOT an upright bass, it doesn't try to be one - this is something it's detractors will trip over. It is an upright electric bass.

    I've got one. I consider it to be my "desert island, if I can only have one bass" bass. It does electric, upright, and baby bass-ish tones with equal authority. I can cover just about any gig I've ever played with one (unless it's a major slapfest gig, which I wouldn't do anyhow).

    It doesn't sound EXACTLY like an upright, nor does it play like one. However, it sounds incredibly like an upright with a pickup on it through an amplifier - and without the headache of carrying the damn doghouse to the gig! ;) It doesn't play like an upright either, THANKFULLY! ;) This thing plays like a reeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaalllllllllyyyyyyyyyy long-scale fretless electric bass with a seriously arched fingerboard.

    If you're an electric player, it's the shortest distance between your EBG and a doghouse.

    If you are a "real" upright player, it may not be the instrument for you, although I know numerous "real" upright players that love theirs. If you want something that feels more like a traditional double bass, you may wish to look elsewhere - although NS Design has just come out with a new model, the CR4/5T, which is supposed to feel much more like a double bass (higher action, no magnetic pickups, and a physical marker on the back of the neck to let you know where the "D" is), although I haven't had an opportunity to check it out yet.

    If anyone is interested in picking my brain further, feel free to e-mail or PM me.

  4. adrian garcia

    adrian garcia

    Apr 9, 2001
    las vegas. nevada
    Endorsing Artist: Nordy Basses, Schroeder Cabs, Gallien Krueger Amps
    I now own exactly two basses- i wouldn't be caught dead without my F Bass bn5 - and the other is a Steinberger cr 4- no mag pickups, just the bridge/pickup system-
    I got a great deal on one and it has been a God send-
    I play in a Latin band on fridays and saturdays here in Vegas - this is a real deal band where it's very traditional Salsa- the Ampeg Baby Bass is the staple for those gigs and the electric bass was getting me by- but since i incorporated the EUB, it is a different game altogether- they love it, it does have the ability to sound like a huge fretless, but for the Latin gig i use a very dampened setting for the dry thump- very nice indeed! tonight i had a rehearsal and was able to sight read charts on it- something i had trouble doing 4 weeks ago-
    I also do a wednesday night gig with just piano and bass and if it weren't for the EUB, i wouldn't have that gig- they want upright and it is quite the conversation piece- it has paid for itself in 3 weeks- incredibly easy to play thanks to the adjustable action and the dots on the board- i say if you are at all intrigued by the upright world- it is a perfect stepping stone from the electric bass-
    i say it kicks serious butt and you shopuld go for it! best investment i have mde in a LONG time!!
    i did on the 5 string version for a week a while back- but it was for an audition that didnt pan out so i sold it right away- i think i like the 4 string better for the eub-
  5. kmikey


    Jul 17, 2003
    Austin, TX
    right on everybody...

    keep 'em comin...
  6. I've got an NS-CR4M and it's a great instrument, though I haven't played it much for a while. I'm much more into fretless 5'ers.

    I used it regularly with a band for about a year, for a few tunes (sort of calypso/tangos)that had a lot of long slides. I kept the action really low, and it gave a great, really unique and wierd sound, almost like a giant electric sitar. Somehow it worked really well in that band.

    I'll get back to it one day; it's a great bass. I wish it were a 5'er.

    When new it had a wiring fault that caused it to eat batteries in a week (unplugged). I dealt directly with Ned on the problem, and he was very helpful in getting it resolved easily. Nice man and great innovator.


  7. LM Bass

    LM Bass

    Jul 19, 2002
    Vancouver, BC
    I'm a "real" bass player, but I like Ned's bass plenty. I hate the dots, but I really like the pickup system. The range of sounds is really cool. I like the super-easy action too, fun fun fun. I've made a couple of EUB's, and I never really used them much, as I don't travel often. I always find that I'd rather play a fretless or a "real" bass over an EUB.
  8. Eric Moesle

    Eric Moesle Supporting Member

    Sep 21, 2001
    Columbus OH
    Gard's comments are spot-on. I've had an NS Upright for about 6 months, and its fantastic, but nothing like a traditional upright bass. IMO its better, very versatile, easier to play, easy to play in tune, incredibly percussive. I can get tones out of it to match those used on regular rock tunes, and can get good jazz tones out of it as well, though they aren't "acoustic" in nature, but they still fit well.

    That, and I've yet to play a gig where I don't get comments from strangers about its looks as well as its sound.
  9. kasbrey


    Aug 23, 2002
    Northampton UK
    I have a NS CR4M and found that if you raise the action and use DB strings the real upright tone is there. I use Corelli's and play with the Piezo switch in arco setting with a hint of magnetic pick up to smooth the sound.
    I have found that using too much low EQ makes the tone unrealistic ( as it does when amplifying an AUB ).The Fishman Pro EQ Platinum is a great preamp and has a "deep" switch to remove low end rumble.
  10. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    I'll second that - so Gard is of course spot-on and I've had my NSCR5 for obver a year now and still get comments on how good it sounds and people stare in admiration!

    Having just been on Jazz Summerschool for a week with many Jazz pros and fellow students, I can add something else...

    So - with my Eden WT300 and EA VL208 - I think I can get it to sound like an amplified DB and others have confirmed this - but at the nightly Jazz club last week, there wasn't time for everybody to use their own amps and clutter the stage and so so ther was a set bass amp linked to the pa - a Peavey combo with 15" speaker and the EUB sounded terrible (although it was fine for my Lakland 55-02 when I used it for a few numbers) indistinct and muddy - so the people who saw me using this, couldn't see why I bothered.

    But those who heard me in the classes/jams with my own gear complimented me on the sound and could really see the point!

    Anyway - there has been lots of discussions on this very subject over on the DB side - mostly me vs the DBers!! Look over there or do a search and you will find a few long threads!

    I would say they are great for all but the real DB purists - it helps me think like a DB player and simplify my aproach - which people like - less busy!!

    But doesn't require months of practice to get any thing like a decent sound - easy to play and still you can get that DB bounce and feel that is essential say Jazz walking lines.....
  11. FretNoMore

    FretNoMore * Cooking with GAS *

    Jan 25, 2002
    The frozen north
    It all depends on what you're after - looks, feel, sound.

    I've (briefly) tried an NS4 and own an Eminence, these are quite a bit apart on the scale from "electric bass like" to "db like".

    A summary of my opinion for what it's worth...

    The NS
    - looks, feels, and plays like a dream. Loved it.
    - compact, easy to transport
    - not much "acoustic" sound character. Didn't like.
    - great tripod stand

    The Eminence
    - looks more DB-like. Sort of.
    - sounds very DB-like. Love it.
    - difficult to play (emulates a DB in feel). Ouch. :)
    reports about uneven string behaviour and noise
    - more difficult to transport
    - flimsy stand

    If I had the chance of changing my mind again I would look into the Azolas, I suspect they are a good compromise between playability and sound.

    I specifically wanted the sound to be as DB-like as possible, so that's why I chose the Eminence. I would love to also own an NS just for its pure coolness though. :cool:

    YMMV, IMHO, etc, etc.
  12. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    I've mentioned how I initially tried 2 or 3 in the Bass Centre, with slightly different set-ups. The one with the lowest action sounded most like a big fretless BG and I picked the one with highest action and have since tried raising the action further. I also found that the magnetic pickups, altough adding bass and warmth, didn't sound "acustic" - so I bought a bass with piezos only.

    I also wasn't happy with the strings - the G string in particular just didn't sound like DB - but after a long period of consultation and advice from the DB guys I bought some Pirastro Orchestral strings and these have made a big difference, to be much more like the sound I hear from Jazz DB players.

    I also think it's about technique - the more you play it like a DB the more it sounds like a DB - the more you play it like a fretless BG then the opposite...

    So, if I pull hard and use a lot of open strings, then you get more of that acoustic sound. If I pluck lightly and don't really pull across the neck then you don't get that acoustic sound.

    So - last week I was able to do a realy good comparison.

    I was at Jazz Summerschool and we split up for two afternoons into instrumental groupings.

    Imagine this - DB tutor playing DB unamped as well as 4 students on unamped DBs , a guy playing acoustic bass gitar through and amp and me on NS EUB!!

    So I could hear the students getting all sort of noise and clicks and the sound of the strings vibrating - all part of a real DB - yes, but to my ears a sort of inconsistent sound, compared with the EUB which was less clicky and more of a produced or amplified sound of course!

    So maybe in some way I preferred my sound - although there were moments when the DB students got a sublime sound that I woudn't have been able to - I must say to my ears that the ABG sounded
    completely outclassed in this company! ;)

    Anyway - I haven't mentioned the tutor, who was standing opposite me, so I got the full benefit of his unamped tone - which was fantastic, incredibly rich, loud and consistent - the ultimate!

    So of course there is nothing to compare with hearing a real master playing a DB well...but as a student/part-timer, I can see many advantages to the NS EUB, not least in terms of giving you confidence..
  13. FretNoMore

    FretNoMore * Cooking with GAS *

    Jan 25, 2002
    The frozen north
    *Thread hijack warning:*

    Part of the recognizable character of DB playing is probably down to the "physicality" of it, it will partly govern what notes and bass lines you'd play, I guess partly for this reason and partly for music style reasons (bluegrass, country as examples). Perhaps the NS can be "too easy" to play, so you can play bass lines you wouldn't necessarily play on a DB. I know I'm simplifying and generalizing wildly now, but you see what I'm getting at? Playing a "DB bassline" on the NS will sound more like a DB than if you play a "fretless electric bassline" on it?

    My reasoning will fall apart just as soon as you say "Jazz", but still. :)

    Sometimes when I've not brought along the EUB to a rehearsal I stand my electric bass vertically on a chair in front of me, playing it "DB style", and I find I do go for other notes that way...

    EDIT: should have proof-read that, too many "partly"... :)
  14. Gard

    Gard Commercial User

    Mar 31, 2000
    Greensboro, NC, USA
    General Manager, Roscoe Guitars
    AH, VINDICATION!!!!!!!!

    ...I mean, if Bruce agrees with me, I'm right, right???




    FretNoMore - Partly because I'm insane, and partly because of Bruce's vidication, I think you may be partly right. Partly.


  15. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Jazz! I mean NHOP - now he can play lines on DB that I can't on BG - so can Christian McBride, so I think this argument is flawed.

    But I do think that proper DB strings make a difference - what I was basically saying originally though, was agreeing with you - partly! My point is just - don't expect the NS basses to sound like a DB if you don't play them like a DB and don't have strings and an action like a DB!
  16. Whafrodamus


    Oct 29, 2003
    Andover, MA
    I played an unplugged 5 stringer at GC boston, it felt great. I didn't get a chance to plug it in though :(.
  17. PhatBasstard

    PhatBasstard Spector Dissector Supporting Member

    Feb 3, 2002
    Las Vegas, NV.
    Yes, Yes. This is a highly overlooked point.
    Most people get a hold of one of these and, because of the truss rod and bridge adjustability, drop the action to near electric bass height....because they CAN on this instrument. I know because I did the exact same thing when I first got mine.

    After replacing the strings with Spirocore Weichs and, for experimentation, raising the action to more traditional DB height, wonder of wonders, it sounded A LOT more like a DB than a big electric fretless.

    I also had the magnetic pickups in mine, but soon found they were a waste for me as I was going for the more traditional DB type of tone and the bridge piezos alone achieved the tone better.

    No, it still didn't sound exactly like a DB, but the 2 points above made a huge difference...and it still played beautifully.

    The reason I sold mine is I'm still looking at getting something more acoustic/traditional.
  18. Eric Moesle

    Eric Moesle Supporting Member

    Sep 21, 2001
    Columbus OH
    I use mine in a rock gig, have the action set very, very low for a perfect 'mwah', mostly piezo with a tiny tad of magnetic blended in for fuller body. Frankly, it sounds better than my electric basses. Gets all sorts of great comments and questions from the crowd, EVERY night. If it wasn't for the need to slap on several tunes, I would use it as my main bass all night long. I can understand why Tony Levin used his almost exclusively on the new Peter Gabriel album.

    I also noticed that the bassist from BareNaked Ladies has been playing one live. These are great instruments.